Varnado football coach Shaffett steps down

Published 1:46 pm Friday, July 20, 2018

Varnado’s Scott Shaffett has stepped down from being the school’s head football coach and athletic director to become the head football at Independence High School.
“I’ll be the third coach in almost 40 years at Independence High School,” Shaffett said. “The coaches that have been there have done a great job. They have a long storied history there. I’m looking forward to following some great coaches in that football program.”
Shaffett began his student teaching under then-Independence head coach Charles Baglio.
“That stadium was electric,” Shaffett said. “Hopefully we can bring those glory days back. They have similar kids to what we have at Varnado. Those kids are hungry for success. It puts me close to home to my grandbabies, it gets me close to home to my family and it gets me closer to my mother.”
The move drops Shaffett’s drive time to work from about 90 minutes to 15.
Shaffett has been Varnado’s head football coach since 2012.
Over his time there, the Wildcats posted a 31-37 record, but have gone 28-20 over the last four seasons. Varnado has gone 8-4 and reached the quarterfinals in each of the last two years. Under Shaffett, Varnado won one district title and was district runner-up twice.
“I can’t even begin to describe my years at Varnado,” Shaffett said. “My first couple of years, we had to change a couple things. We had to establish discipline and then let the winning fall in place. Most importantly, I established bonds. I love the kids I coached. I became close to the community. You don’t know much about the community until you get there and I became close to the community. They treated me like gold. It was a very difficult decision to leave Varnado, because they are like my extended family.”
Shaffett also praised Washington Parish.
“Working in Washington Parish, it’s not a big parish, so you get to know a lot of people,” Shaffett said. “You establish a lot of bonds across the parish because it is a family-oriented parish. That’s another reason why it was a tough decision to leave.”
Shaffett talked about the program at Varnado.
“We started the program from the ground, up. My first couple of years, we sacrificed wins to instill discipline. We really wanted to establish discipline, structure and organization. We eliminated discipline issues,” Shaffett said. “We’ve turned the program into a top five program in the state of Louisiana in Class 1A. You’ve got a number of kids playing college football and you’ve got numerous kids going to college from our program. That means a lot to me that they are going on to bigger and better things.”
Shaffett thanked Washington Parish School Board Superintendent Darrell Fairburn and former Varnado principal Randy Branch, who hired Shaffett, and all of administrators during his time at Varnado.
“We had the greatest teaching staff in the state of Louisiana and that made my job a lot easier,” he said.
Varnado principal Jennifer Beninato said Shaffett has done a very good job since he has been at Varnado.
“He worked very hard to turn the football program around,” Beninato said. “He’s led us to (one) district championship and into the playoffs and leading to the quarterfinals. The structure and team discipline has led to our success and we hope to find a candidate that will continue to uphold the high standards for players that he set, and to find someone dedicated to this community and to these boys that will be at Varnado for many years.
“For all of these years, he’s been driving over an hour to work and we appreciate his dedication and loyalty to Varnado High School and to these kids.”

Scott Shaffett